Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into the world of MMA?
I grew up in Bacchus Marsh with my two older brothers and one of them was a kick boxer, his four years older than me and back in the day I would watch him fight. I would get all this second-hand adrenaline, so he took me to the gym at 15 and as soon as I started training, I knew I loved it. Eventually I transitioned from a straight kick boxing gym to a gym where I learnt jiujitsu and the wrestling.
With the prime age of an MMA fighters being 33-36 was it unusual to start training at 15?
It’s been changing recently because it is such a young sport. There are examples of people coming to it very late who do really well. A lot of Olympic wrestlers will have their career in wrestling and hit 30 and not complete a day of striking but because they have such a huge base knowledge they can make the transition.
As MMA is getting more popular with people like Rhonda Rousey & Conner McGregor, the ages of kids keeps getting younger. The kids you see at the gym now are just incredible. I trained this little kid recently, I showed him the move, he did it 10 seconds later & perfected with a blank face, he wasn’t even surprised that he could do it. You think about when he gets to 21, he will have this huge skill base that a lot of us never had. At 20-21 I was an established striker although my ground game was nothing compared to these kids.
What would you say has been your favourite fight to date?
I think I have two. When I won the championship belt that was my favourite because it was long, it went for four rounds. Traditionally I have been known to finish my fights quickly so to evolve into someone who would draw the fight out over a long period of time was something I was proud of. I think what trumped it was my last one, I fought a guy that had beaten me four years ago, he was the first guy I have ever lost to and the only guy I’ve lost to in Australia. We re-matched four years later & I won that, and it was emphatic, they are the two I’m most proud of.
What does your average week of training look like?
I do 12 skill base sessions and then on top of that 5-10 cardio strength sessions a week. I have Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays at home, except for Friday night we have sparring in Collingwood. Saturdays & Sunday I spend at home, I do my track day on Saturday morning and then in the afternoon I hit the pads and do sauna and cold ice baths and try to recover for the rest of the week.
We hear you are looking to fight in America soon, what’s the future looking like for you?
I was getting interviewed in my last fight and I asked to get on Dana Whites contender series which is a feeder program for the UFC. Dana White is the president of the UFC he runs a program where he finds talented guys and puts them in the ring, if they win a fight, he gives them contracts.
The UFC may be coming here in September, if I win this fight in June, I might have a pretty good chance to get on that card. Although nothing is promised to you in this world you have to keep fighting and hopefully, something comes your way.
When you’re not training, how would you describe your clothing style?
I dress very casually. I have one huge pile of washing that I dump all my clothes into and then on a Friday morning I take it to the laundry mat and have a coffee. Then I put it into another basket and every day before training I just pull out what I need and put it in my bag. It a very organised rotation, I very rarely ever go into my cupboard and pull out my jeans and the shirts. Although on those fancier occasions I wear jeans, boots and tees, a classic country casual style.
What do you look for in a good shoe?
I wear boots a lot, I’m looking for good leathers and shoes that can go with all my clothes. If I’m going for a casual look, I want something that is super comfy but doesn’t look like it is.
What is your favourite Wild Rhino?